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Young Workers Making Gains (Slowly)

Finally some good news for young Americans: according to CNN, 650,000 workers between the ages of 16 to 24 were hired within the last three months, the largest spike since the Great Recession began. At its worst point, less than half of this age group held a job at all – the lowest levels ever recorded. Though 16 to 24 year olds are still 3 million jobs short of their pre-recession total, over 1 million people have found employment in the last year.

In addition to young adults’ success, the overall unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent in November, the lowest rate since March 2009.  While the news of new hires is encouraging, it is tempered by the fact that over 315,000 people gave up their search for a job, a sign that more job creation is still necessary over the next few months.

Despite the heartening news from CNN, BLS estimated that 130,000 of those who left the workforce in November were between 16 and 24. Their unemployment rate essentially held steady, rising slightly to 16.8 percent from 16.7 a month prior. Older young adults ages 25 to 34, remained unemployed slightly more often than the national average at 9.2 percent.

Young Invincibles continues to be active around the issue of youth unemployment.  Recently, YI held the Jobs for Young America Day on the Hill with students and young adults showing up from across the country to advocate for their Representatives in Washington to pass youth jobs legislation.  YI also released the State of Young America report with Demos that documents the litany of economic challenges facing young Americans.  While the news of job gains is promising, YI continues to push for sustained solutions to the employment crisis facing young Americans.